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Croatia is home to thousands of islets scattered in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Each island has its own unique character. Others are home to historic cities filled with ancient archaeological sites, whilst some are known for their bustling nightlife.
Whether you prefer to visit a remote island for total seclusion or a lively island where you can party each night, you will find a Croatian island to suit you. If you need inspiration, here’s our pick for the perfect places to visit in Croatia.
Zagreb lies in the northwest region of Croatia, perched along the Sava River and on the southern slopes of Medvednica mountain. It enchants travellers with its breathtaking coastlines that rival that of Dubrovnik and Split. With its rich culture and history, unique charm, and fascinating architecture, it’s easy to see why Zagreb is one of the best places to visit in Croatia.
The best place to start exploring Zagreb is in the Lower Town, where you’ll find Ban Jelačić Square, full of busy markets. Explore the artisanal markets and shop for local handicrafts and food products like deli meats, pastries, and cheeses. Be sure to check out Zagreb Cathedral, one of the city’s landmarks, featuring beautiful Gothic-style architecture.
After exploring the Lower Town, head to the Upper Town and peruse its side streets and small courtyards. Soon, you’ll find the Stone Gate, which houses a small chapel. You will likely come across locals praying and lighting candles here. Check out the chapel’s walls that are full of messages of gratitude.
With its charming old town and gorgeous coastline, Split is the perfect destination for a holiday in Croatia. It’s one of Croatia’s most historic cities, famous for the Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient palace dating back to the 4th century. While you are guaranteed to enjoy your visit to Split, it’s also worth exploring other islands. So, check out the many luxury cruises in Croatia that depart from Split. It is the best way to see more of the country in one visit.
Split is famous for the Diocletian’s Palace, and checking out this palace should be on top of your things to do in Split. Built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th Century AD, the massive palace complex is a joy to wander around. Try to visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds, and head to the underground market, which sells a variety of unique and local souvenirs.
The Riva promenade is another lovely place to enjoy scenic strolls in Split. It has a seaside walkway with benches where you can sit for a while to admire the tranquil views of the Adriatic. You will also find cosy cafes, bars, and shops overlooking the ocean.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, go for a 30-minute hike to the top of Marjan Hill, where you can admire the views of Split’s city centre. You will find many beautiful trails within the park, perfect for avid hikers.
Zadar may not be as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but it’s the perfect place to visit in Croatia if you want to avoid large crowds of tourists. The gorgeous city sits along the Adriatic Coast and is full of surprises and attractions to delight visitors. What’s great about visiting this small city is that it exudes a laidback appeal, perfect for those who want to relax and unwind after exploring Croatia’s busy cities.
You’ll surely enjoy sightseeing in Zadar, as it’s home to some unique attractions, such as the Sea Organ, an architectural art designed by Croatian architect Nikola Bašić. These marble steps have holes that create magical tones when hit by crashing waves. Another unique attraction to see in the city is Monument to the Sun, a 22-metre circle built using 300 multi-layered glass plates.
Zadar is also home to fascinating historical sites, such as the Roman Forum, built around the 1st to 3rd centuries. These Roman ruins now serve as an open-air museum and a popular spot for visitors and locals to converge.
If you can only visit one place in Croatia, you should head to Dubrovnik, a medieval wonder that’s absolutely stunning. It’s one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, famous for its well-preserved walls. Those who want to enjoy cruising in Croatia will find Dubrovnik an ideal place to start. Cruising is a fantastic way to see more of the country in a single trip.
Dubrovnik is a fascinating city full of history. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a perfectly preserved Old Town home to charming Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance palaces, monasteries, and churches. The best way to get a taste of its history is to stroll through the Dubrovnik walls, where you can also admire the spectacular views of the city. During your stroll, check out the Tvrđava Minčeta, a 14th-century fortress with views overlooking the Old Town.
If you don’t have time to cruise around Croatia but would love to visit other islands close to Dubrovnik, consider going to the nearby Lokrum Island, which is only a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik’s harbour. It’s a lovely place to unwind away from the crowds of Dubrovnik. You can relax at the beach or take scenic strolls in its beautiful gardens.
Pula is a lovely town on Istria Island with a long shipbuilding history and exudes a more industrial vibe. You will have a great time exploring the town’s mish mash of Venetian, Roman, and Austro-Hungarian architecture.
The most popular attraction is Pula Arena, which dates back to the 1st century. It’s a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre and is now a popular venue for festivals and concerts. On the western section of the town, you’ll find Pula Forum, constructed in the 1st Century BC and has been the central square from the Roman Times.
Like the other towns and cities in Croatia, Pula has its share of lovely beaches. It is home to some of Istria’s best beaches, especially those in the southern part of the town. These beaches are pebbly or rocky, but if you prefer a sandy beach, head to the nearby town of Medulin.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.